Good morning, you epic article writer, you.
That’s right, I’m talking to you.
You publish content to attract new prospects, to build trust with them — word by word — so you can get down to business.
And you do it in your slippers. Because shoes are optional in our world, right?
Your shoes might be fuzzy, but your words need to be consistently remarkable.
Consistently good content that builds an audience is the foundation of online business.
But how can you make that happen? Well, one option is to drink lots of coffee and stay up late the night before you publish your post, stifling yawns and squinting to see your screen.
But the better option is to spread out the writing and editing process over a few leisurely days, and write your post in stages without ever getting out of your slippers. Sound good?
Quality over quantity
That’s what you’re aiming for in your start here: one weekly post that will attract attention, establish your authority, and encourage people to share your information.
And keep in mind, Brian Clark built Copyblogger by writing two posts per week in the beginning.
It all starts on morning one.
Morning 1: Start with a mind-mapping tool
Slippers on? Favorite beverage at your side? It’s time to begin.
Start by thinking about your topic, and what angle you’ll approach it from. Open up a mind-mapping program — or grab a piece of paper and your favorite pen — and get ready to write.
Your headline is the most important group of words in your post, so spend plenty of time crafting one that will get your post the attention you’re looking for. Put that at the center of your mind map.
Your subheads can branch out from there. Subheads form the backbone of your content: get these right, and everything else will flow.
Your subheads should be informative enough that someone scanning your post will understand the gist of it.
They should be intriguing enough that your scanner is left wanting to dig deeper and learn more.
And that’s enough for day one.
The first step is the most difficult, and you’re off to a good start. Move on to the rest of your day, and prepare for tomorrow — it’s going to be a heavy one.
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Morning 2: Time to fill in the details
You might need an extra helping of your favorite beverage for today’s task. You’re going to be fleshing out the details of the outline you created yesterday and writing the rest of your post.
Still, keep those slippers on. You need to be comfortable so you can get the job done.
The first thing to tackle today is looking over the headline and subheads you wrote yesterday. Do they still make sense? Are they still intriguing? Are you looking forward to filling in what’s missing?
If not, take some time to tweak. Reinforce the basic structure of your post, so you’ve got something to hang the rest of your words on.
Once you’re satisfied, it’s time to fill in the details. Ready? Set? Go!
I know what you’re saying right now. “It’s not a race.” Actually at this stage, it is.
The fastest way to get the rest of your post written is to write it as fast as you can. Write your first paragraph. Write the rest of your introduction. Fill in the details under your subheads. Wrap it up at the end, and include some kind of call to action.
As. Fast. As. You. Can.
Why so fast?
Because at this stage, you shouldn’t be sweating every word. You need to record your thoughts, not edit. Editing is for tomorrow.
Finally, before you wrap up working on your post for the day, look for an image.
Spend some time finding one that will complement your words and draw attention to your concepts.
Learn more about using images in your content marketing when you register for my free visual content marketing workshop.
Then, walk away. Focus on something else, get a good night’s sleep, and plan to take a last look at your post with fresh eyes in the morning.
Editor’s note: Copyblogger is an affiliate for Pamela’s workshop.
Morning 3: Edit, massage, and tweak
On day three, you’ll wake up refreshed, put on your slippers, and pour one more cup of that favorite beverage. Sidle up to your keyboard, and fire up that draft post one more time.
Do a read-through to see how it looks today. Better yet, read it out loud in a monotone voice to be sure it still makes sense and sounds good, even with no inflection.
Edit, rewrite, and move copy around as needed. Keep reading and tweaking until it’s just right.
Next, spend some time formatting your post for readability. Add bulleted lists where you can. Add excerpts using block quotes. Break up long paragraphs into smaller chunks to make them easier to read on screen.
Before you queue it up for publishing, go down this checklist and make sure you can answer “yes” to everything:
- Does the headline stop them in their tracks?
- Is the image intriguing on its own?
- Do the subheads tell your story all by themselves?
- Have you asked an engaging question at the end to encourage comments and conversation?
- Did you add a call to action for a product, service, or your email list?
Morning 4: Publication and promotion day
Back in your slippers on morning four, you can enjoy the fruits of your labors. But your work isn’t over, so don’t relax just yet.
Publication day is promotion day.
This post you spent three days crafting deserves attention, and it’s your job to ensure it gets it.
Did you write an especially epic post?
Then consider chatting about it with other content marketers. If appropriate, ask them to share it with their audiences.
The key to manageable content creation
It’s not easy to write epic posts week after week, but dividing the work up over several days will make it manageable.
Building time into your schedule to get away from your post will make you a better editor.
And doing it all in your slippers will make you feel like the king of your world.